This story deals with the narrator’s portrayal of the main character in the short story. Wanjiru the main character is trapped in an urban situation and becomes a victim of low self-esteem. This story is has a moving tone and touching study of a young woman battling with an identity problem…
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This short story establishes female self-realization instead of uninterrupted self-alienation, and that authenticates the persistence in attaining her preferred purpose (Halpen 182).
Minutes of Glory is told in an omniscient perspective and follows her experiences through the bars in Illmorog. Wanjiru dropped out of school due to poverty and being a naive young girl from the rural area seeking for employment and fell prey to a man who took advantage of her. The turn of events leads her to new experience and ends up being a prostitute. The explanation of the narrative sets the tone for the story by bringing in the main character and telling the clash under which she chafes. Beatrice is her Christian name meaning the blessed one contradicts with her present situation. This is reflected in the way the Bantu are regarded as a misfortune and this underscores the tone of the narrative as is evident by her attempt to make her life better being futile. According to the traditional African culture, a person’s name is supposed to reflect on the personality of the individual and this does not happen in Beatrice’s case.
Wanjiru is restless and this is brought out by her lack of ability to stay on a job for an extensive time and this brings out her economic instability and lack of success in the urban areas as well as the less developed towns. Her boss fires her for not attracting customers and she hopes that if she continues searching, she will eventually find her right place and be in control of her life. She considers her fellow prostitutes to be a threat and envies them for their success. She compares herself to other young women and does not find the differences between them as she is more attractive than some of them and wonders why they are more desired than her. She thinks her appearance makes the men not to desire her and despite her economic status buys the Ambi- a skin lightener to change her looks (Halpen 188). She feels demoralized by Nyaguthii because she thinks Nyaguthii has total control of her life while she does not. According to Wanjiru, Nyaguthii is extraordinary as her customers bring her gifts and fight over her and this makes Beatrice to feel miserable and dissatisfied with herself. She takes Nyaguthii to be her role model. Nyaguthii seems to be disinterested in everything and even fights the same men who bring her gifts. Wanjiru sees Nyaguthii as a free woman who is unavoidable. Wanjiru turns to Nyaguthii in her hour of need and she learns about Nyaguthii’s past and from her she learns how to deal with her low self-esteem when dealing with men. Wanjiru desires to reign in the bar without any competition from the other women and to achieve this she tries to mask her unappealing face with Ambi, a skin lightening cream, “ if she had not seen girls blacker than herself being transformed overnight from the unattractive sins into white stars by a feel of skin
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